San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and other Bay Area cities offer birthday party options that meet kids' interests and parents' budgets. Parents have the choice of bringing the kids to a party center or local venue that offers birthday packages or creating their own birthday party for kids at an attractive local spot. Kids can find excitement while parents relax at Bay Area party venues.
Bring the kids to an area park for a birthday party filled with excitement and activity. Your party budget will only need to cover transportation and refreshments. The San Francisco Department of Parks and Recreation (sfrecpark.org) operates many parks, which offer a wide variety of park experiences for kids. Parks with play areas such as Sunnyside, Panhandle, Alta Plaza and Rossi parks have safe play areas for the kids to enjoy before sitting down for a birthday picnic. Natural areas such as Palou and Phelps or Balboa feature trails with opportunities to relax and explore nature as part of the birthday celebration. Across the bay in Oakland, the Oakland municipality (oaklandnet.com) and the East Bay Regional Park District (ebparks.org) operate dozens of neighborhood parks where you can bring a group of kids for a great birthday celebration.
Organize a birthday party at an art studio for an inspiring birthday party of art and imagination. Kids 'N Clay (kidsnclay.com) on Bancroft in Berkeley invites groups of kids of all ages to spend a few hours in the studio working on ceramics projects as part of a birthday party. The group members make their own ceramics pieces from wet clay or paint a ceramics piece before sitting down for the refreshments. At the end of the party, each child has a project to take home. The San Francisco Terra Mia Decorative Art Studio (terramia.net) invites families to celebrate kids' birthdays at its studio. The party includes two hours of studio time for the group. Each child receives a ceramic piece to paint. Terra Mia then glazes and fires the pieces for the kids to take home. Families provide refreshments for birthday parties at Terra Mia.
Slip some culture and education into a kid's birthday party. The Habitot Children's Museum (habitot.org) on Kittredge Street in Berkeley is a hands-on museum with interactive exhibits and art activities tailored for young children. The museum's exhibits include a veterinary center with real puppies and kittens, a Little Town Grocery and Cafe that demonstrates the world of merchandising, and a Wiggle Wall that children navigate by making their way through underground tunnels and mazes. The Exploratorium (exploratorium.edu) on Lyon Street in San Francisco offers a museum experience for older kids. The Exploratorium's science exhibits span exploration of color, dissection of a cow's eye, gravity, sound, seasons and much more. The Exploratorium holds official birthday parties for children and grandchildren of Exploratorium members, but other families may take advantage of the Exploratorium's policy of offering discounts for groups of more than 10 individuals. After a visit to the Exploratorium, the celebrants head elsewhere for refreshments.
Older kids may wish to take their friends out to a skating rink for a sports-themed birthday celebration. In Oakland, the Oakland Ice Center (oaklandice.com) offers several birthday packages that include two hours on the ice for all party participants, a party room and refreshments. The Yerba Buena Skating and Bowling Center (skatebowl.com) in San Francisco hosts birthday parties that include skate rental, skating time on the ice and a room for the birthday party. The ice arena's snack bar will supply the food for the party according to a pre-party order.
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images